Local Podiatrist Sentenced on Health Care Fraud Charges
ST. LOUIS, MO—LAWRENCE B. IKEN, DPM, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $999,170 on charges involving the submission of false documents and reimbursement claims related to podiatric services purportedly provided by Dr. Iken from 2006 through July 2014. His company, Iken LLC, was sentenced to two years of probation on the same charges. As part of his plea in January, Dr. Iken agreed to a money judgment of $999,170, which represents the amount of reimbursement that he and his company received for the false health care claims.
Additionally, as part of a civil settlement, Dr. Iken and Iken LLC paid the United States $748,279 to resolve allegations, brought under the federal False Claims Act, that Dr. Iken and Iken LLC submitted false claims for payment to Medicare and Missouri Medicaid. The United States alleged that Dr. Iken and Iken LLC submitted false claims for payment for podiatric services that were not provided.
According to court documents, Dr. Iken and his company, Lawrence B. Iken, DPM, LLC., have offices in Manchester and Creve Coeur, MO. Dr. Iken is a sole practitioner who provided podiatry services to patients at his Manchester and at his Creve Coeur offices and at various nursing homes in the St. Louis area. In addition to his office practice, Dr. Iken is an independent contractor for Preferred Podiatry Group, Inc. (PPG). According to its website, PPG provides podiatric care to residents in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in Missouri and five other states. As a PPG contractor, Dr. Iken provided services to nursing home residents on Wednesdays and Thursdays. With his plea, Dr. Iken admitted that on thousands of occasions, he billed Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies for the incision and drainage of abscesses and hematomas, when he actually only clipped the toenails of the patients.
Iken, of Chesterfield, Missouri, and his company each pled guilty in January to one felony count of healthcare fraud. He appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge Ronnie L. White.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services-Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Missouri Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Dorothy McMurtry and Suzanne Moore handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.